AS Rwanda’s strategy of advancing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) takes shape, Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo, yesterday, said government plans to source teachers from Zambia.
The minister made the remarks during a media briefing after holding bilateral talks with her Zambian counterpart Harry Kalaba, who is in the country for a four-day working visit.
“We have been exploring good teachers; Zambia has had a very good education system for many years and in our search for English teachers, we identified Zambia as one of the countries where we can source teachers,” said Mushikiwabo.
Since the time Rwanda joined the Commonwealth, it has sourced English-speaking teachers from neighbouring countries.
“We particularly need teachers in TVET schools where we are in the process of developing different curricula and try to get what is necessary for our orientation towards TVETs,” Mushikiwabo said.
She added that government is also looking at teaching expertise in mining to develop advanced skills in areas of knowledge, legal, and technical capacity and that Zambia was identified for its advanced mining sector.
Currently, there are about 45,000 TVET teachers in both private and public schools, covering vocational training schools, technical schools and polytechnic institutions.
“Vocational education is on the rise, we are in the process of training the teachers and we estimate that in the next three years, we will need a 30 per cent increment of the number of teachers we have today,” the Minister of State in charge TVET, Albert Nsengiyumva, told The New Times.
With regards to mining studies, Nsengiyumva said the mining sector is still labour intensive which is why government wants to have 90 per cent of the miners acquire vocational skills.
“To do that, we will need to work closely with mining companies in the country,” he said.
Zambia to source French teachers
Meanwhile, Zambia has also expressed interest in sourcing French-teaching personnel from Rwanda.
“Rwanda showed extra-ordinary (ability) of moving from being a francophone country to an Anglophone country and Zambia wants to extrapolate as much as it can from Rwanda. With that regard we are looking into ways of how we can also have some French teaching teachers from Rwanda to come to Zambia,” Minister Kalaba said.
Kalaba said the two nations are enthusiastic to take their relations to another level in the framework of south-south cooperation.
“It is high time that the two countries start insisting on convergences rather than divergences. There is so much that bring us together as a people and we need to exploit that potential. We also acknowledge the trade potential between the two countries and we need to exploit that potential as well,” he said.
Zambia is the eighth copper producing country in the world and, according to Kalaba, his country is interested in having its significant portion of copper exports coming to Rwanda.
Kalaba, who had earlier visited the Kigali Special Economic Zone, pointed out that his government wants to establish means in which the Zambian indigenous companies can set foot in Rwanda.
With RwandAir flying three times a week to Lusaka, Kalaba said the the national carrier flights go beyond business but also serve as a linkage between Zambian and Rwanda people.
Kalaba and Mushikiwabo held a closed-door meeting prior to the media briefing where, according to Mushikiwabo, the two discussed in detail areas of trade cooperation with Rwanda expressing its interests in importing cement and sugar from Zambia.
“We are looking at holding a Joint Permanent Commission that will bring together all sectors of interest for both sides and, in a couple of months, we will be able to make some decisions,” Mushikiwabo said.